Hyperparathyroidism is the result of excess parathyroid hormone production by over-activity of one or more of the parathyroid glands. The parathyroid glands are four tiny glands located adjacent to the thyroid gland that help the body regulate calcium. Excess parathyroid hormones result in high levels of calcium in the blood. Most cases are caused by abnormal growth of one of the glands, though up to all four can be involved. Most cases are spontaneous, but some can be genetic or a result of kidney failure.
Symptoms of hyperparathyroidism include kidney stones, bone pain, osteoporosis, gastrointestinal issues, fatigue, depression, cognitive problems and excessive urination and thirst. Traditional approaches involved exploration of the entire thyroid to find the afflicted gland and to make sure none of the other glands are involved. This requires a large incision and can take several hours to perform.
At Chilton Medical Center, we offer minimally invasive parathyroid surgery. Prior to surgery, a Sestamibi scan is performed to determine which gland is involved. An incision about an inch in size is made over the suspected gland. With the help of a probe used to detect radioactivity, the gland is identified and removed. Minimally invasive radioguided parathyroid surgery is a faster procedure with a significantly smaller scar, less pain and a quicker, easier recovery. It can even be performed under local anesthetic. Studies show equivalent, if not better, cure rates compared to the traditional approach.
Visit the Atlantic Health System physician referral service and search for a Chilton Medical Center physician or call 1-800-247-9580.